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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Basketball Star Bradley Beal’s Misleading Comments About COVID-19

Basketball Star Bradley Beal’s Misleading Comments About COVID-19

NBA star Bradley Beal made some misleading comments — shared in viral video clips — about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. No vaccine is 100% effective, but clinical trials and studies show the COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing illness, particularly serious illness, including for those previously infected, such as Beal.

CDC: No Warning Issued for Acute Flaccid Myelitis in 2021

CDC: No Warning Issued for Acute Flaccid Myelitis in 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been tracking outbreaks of acute flaccid myelitis — a serious condition mainly affecting children — since 2014. The CDC hasn’t seen a reason for concern this year, but Facebook posts have wrongly claimed that the agency has issued a “warning of polio-like outbreak” this fall. The claim seems to have originated from an outdated news article.

Malala Yousafzai Has Responded to Taliban Takeover, Plight of ‘My Afghan Sisters’

Malala Yousafzai Has Responded to Taliban Takeover, Plight of ‘My Afghan Sisters’

Malala Yousafzai has expressed deep concerns for women and children in Afghanistan since the Taliban entered the country’s capital on Aug. 15. Yet a post on social media falsely accused Yousafzai, a children’s rights advocate, of being “silent” about the Taliban takeover and the impact on Afghan girls and women.

Marine General Supports Vaccinations for Military

Marine General Supports Vaccinations for Military

The secretary of defense announced that COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for all service members by mid-September. But social media posts have shared an article from a dubious website that falsely claimed that the leader of the Marines “rebuked” the vaccine mandate. A Marine Corps spokesperson told us “there is no truth” to the claim.

COVID-19 Surges Among Unvaccinated in Florida, Contrary to Baseless Claims

COVID-19 Surges Among Unvaccinated in Florida, Contrary to Baseless Claims

Florida health officials have reported a 60% rise in COVID-19 cases, and hospitals are reporting that 95% of COVID-19 patients are not fully vaccinated. But a Facebook post makes the baseless claims that Florida’s numbers are not going up, and that all COVID-19 patients recently admitted to a Palm Beach County hospital had been vaccinated.

Baseless Conspiracy Theory Follows Deaths of Haitian President, Other National Leaders

Baseless Conspiracy Theory Follows Deaths of Haitian President, Other National Leaders

Following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, social media posts baselessly suggest that he and other world leaders were killed or died because they opposed COVID-19 vaccination in their countries. All the leaders named in the posts, except Moïse, died of natural causes. At least one supported vaccination.  

Capitol Police Expected to Testify During House Committee’s Probe of Jan. 6 Riot

Capitol Police Expected to Testify During House Committee’s Probe of Jan. 6 Riot

Members of the Capitol Police will be among the first to testify during the House select committee investigation into the Jan. 6 riot, according to Rep. Bennie Thompson, who will lead the panel. But social media posts have made the unfounded claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “won’t let Capitol Police testify about what happened Jan. 6.”

Unsubstantiated Claims Follow Deaths of British and Indian Airline Pilots

Unsubstantiated Claims Follow Deaths of British and Indian Airline Pilots

Following the deaths of four British Airways pilots and five Air India pilots, social media posts claimed without proof that the pilots died as a result of receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Air India said its pilots died from COVID-19. British Airways said “there is no truth whatsoever in the claims on social media speculating that the four deaths are linked.”

Airlines Are Encouraging, Not Banning, Vaccinated Passengers

Airlines Are Encouraging, Not Banning, Vaccinated Passengers

Airlines are encouraging people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine to fly once again. Yet social media posts falsely claim that airline executives around the world are discussing banning vaccinated passengers due to a risk of blood clotting at high altitudes. Experts say there is no evidence of an added risk of blood clots for vaccinated air travelers.